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The Righteous Reign of the Coming King


But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.


The people who walked in darkness

have seen a great light;

those who lived in a land of deep darkness—

on them light has shined.


You have multiplied the nation,

you have increased its joy;

they rejoice before you

as with joy at the harvest,

as people exult when dividing plunder.


For the yoke of their burden,

and the bar across their shoulders,

the rod of their oppressor,

you have broken as on the day of Midian.


For all the boots of the tramping warriors

and all the garments rolled in blood

shall be burned as fuel for the fire.


For a child has been born for us,

a son given to us;

authority rests upon his shoulders;

and he is named

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


His authority shall grow continually,

and there shall be endless peace

for the throne of David and his kingdom.

He will establish and uphold it

with justice and with righteousness

from this time onward and forevermore.

The zeal of the L ord of hosts will do this.


Judgment on Arrogance and Oppression


The Lord sent a word against Jacob,

and it fell on Israel;


and all the people knew it—

Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—

but in pride and arrogance of heart they said:


“The bricks have fallen,

but we will build with dressed stones;

the sycamores have been cut down,

but we will put cedars in their place.”


So the L ord raised adversaries against them,

and stirred up their enemies,


the Arameans on the east and the Philistines on the west,

and they devoured Israel with open mouth.

For all this his anger has not turned away;

his hand is stretched out still.



The people did not turn to him who struck them,

or seek the L ord of hosts.


So the L ord cut off from Israel head and tail,

palm branch and reed in one day—


elders and dignitaries are the head,

and prophets who teach lies are the tail;


for those who led this people led them astray,

and those who were led by them were left in confusion.


That is why the Lord did not have pity on their young people,

or compassion on their orphans and widows;

for everyone was godless and an evildoer,

and every mouth spoke folly.

For all this his anger has not turned away;

his hand is stretched out still.



For wickedness burned like a fire,

consuming briers and thorns;

it kindled the thickets of the forest,

and they swirled upward in a column of smoke.


Through the wrath of the L ord of hosts

the land was burned,

and the people became like fuel for the fire;

no one spared another.


They gorged on the right, but still were hungry,

and they devoured on the left, but were not satisfied;

they devoured the flesh of their own kindred;


Manasseh devoured Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh,

and together they were against Judah.

For all this his anger has not turned away;

his hand is stretched out still.


8. The Lord hath sent a word. Here he relates a new prediction, for I think that this discourse is separated from the former, because the Prophet now returns to speak of the future condition of the kingdom of Israel, which was at that time hostile to the Jews. Now, we know that the Jews had good reason for being alarmed at the forces and power of that kingdom, especially when it had made a league with the Syrians, because they saw that they had not sufficient strength to oppose them. In order, therefore, to yield comfort to the godly, he shows what will be the future condition of the kingdom of Israel

By Jacob and Israel he means the same thing; but the diversity of expression is elegant, and is intended to show that the wicked gain nothing by their opposition, when they endeavor either to turn away from them, or to alter the judgment of God. He alludes to the speech of those who think that they can escape by means of their witticisms, and who turn into jest and sport all that is threatened by the Prophets; just as if one were to attempt to drive away a storm by the breath of his mouth. It is, therefore, an ironical admission, as if he had said, “In your opinion, what God pronounces against you will fall on others; but all the threatenings which he utters against Jacob will light upon Israel.”

To send means to appoint. The preposition ב (beth) means in Jacob himself. The word of God must dwell and rest in him, for it cannot vanish away without producing any effect. This is what he afterwards lays down in other words, “My word shall not return to me void; that is, because it is an effectual publication of that which I have once decreed.” (Isaiah 55:11.) By the word, it hath fallen, 145145     It hath lighted. — Eng. Ver. he points out the certainty of the effect and result; as if he had said, “I do not conjecture these things, nor do I contrive them out of my own head; but God hath spoken, who cannot be deceived, and cannot change.”

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